Germany urges curbs on car CO2 emissions

Cracks appear in Europe's flagship voluntary agreement at final EU environment ministerial of 2003

German environment minister J├╝rgen Trittin has called for EU legislation to force car manufacturers to reduce average new vehicle carbon dioxide emissions to 120 grams per kilometre (g/km) by 2012. The statement represents a serious challenge to the EU's flagship voluntary agreement with industry.

Mr Trittin told fellow EU environment ministers in Brussels on Monday that a "clear indication" given by the industry it would not meet the target meant binding measures were now needed. Under a 1998 voluntary agreement, European car makers pledged to achieve a fleet average of 140 g/km by 2008. Negotiations are about to begin on going further towards the EU's more ambitious target of 120 g/km.

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